Welcome to Episode Two of Just TypiKel Momday Motivations! Today I’m getting my ducks in a row.
Getting My Ducks In A Row
As explained last time, here at Just TypiKel, Momday Motivations are little boot-me-in-the-ass motivators I’ll publish every Monday that are designed to whip up feverish anticipation for my upcoming memoir about the extraordinary 10 years I survived working with my mom in our Vancouver shop, selling Asian antiques and quirky collectibles.
Folks have asked me what’s so special about those ten years and the short answer is: how much I changed. I went from knowing next to nothing about Asian antiques and caring about them even less, to being able to go tootling off on my own buying trips. I also became quite the financial whiz (after originally failing Math 12, it was miraculous to end up as our money-wise bookkeeper) and best of all, I happily met and married my remarkable husband.
I’ve also been asked why I insist on saying that I “survived” working with my mother. Well, it’s one thing to work with your mother and it’s quite another to work with one that’s blessed with several different and distinct personas. Oh, there are stories!
Toss in an eclectic group of customers and a few marriages, funerals and even murders and … it was quite a decade.
OK let’s get a peek at another chapter, shall we? Click those sparkly heels and be magically transported!
Oh No, He Didn’t
I like to say that I was the first long-term hire at the shop, however, that’s not true. My late father signed on as the deliveryman years before I came on the scene. Dad was rather shy and humble. For example, you had to pry out of him that he was a pediatrician and he’d never volunteer that he was the driving force behind the Canadian research into Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.
He was also blessed with a wonderful sense of humor. My father’s first name was Geoff but he delighted in being known as “Fred” while on deliveries for the shop. He’d gleefully wear the overalls Francine had given him with the “Fred” stitched on the outside of one of the pockets and while there are many hilarious stories of his incognito deliveries, including being rudely treated by an unsuspecting medical colleague, it is the “party story” that I treasure the most.
Things unfolded when a customer asked my mother and me to dinner. Our husbands were also invited but as I didn’t even have a boyfriend at the time, just the three of us went.
It turned out that we weren’t the only guests.
There were at least 30 other people in the tiny, smoky third-floor walk-up and only one chair, a tall wooden stool which Francine immediately claimed for herself. Dad and I were left a choice of one of 15 mattresses strewn about the floor and I watched in wonder as my 60 year-old father slowly lowered himself to the ground and crawled on all fours onto the farthest one away from the swaying clump of sweaty dancers.
As Francine preened from her perch, I set off in search of food and drinks in the pocket-sized kitchen and unearthed two bottles of beer and a bowl of crackers and a handful of dried figs. Dinner. I wove my way back through the horde to my father, only to find that he wasn’t alone. A bare-chested and decidedly vacant-faced fellow had successfully wedged himself in between the wall and my dad and was cosily settling in for a chat. His highly pitched voice rocketed about the room.
“I’m high on life. And you? What’s your bag?”
The room fell silent, clearly anticipating an insightful answer from the sage gentleman with the magnificent silver mane. Knowing full well that Dad wouldn’t share the truth, I held my breath as he clasped his hands around the back of his head and slowly shut his eyes. Everyone leaned closer and my father began to speak …
… 34 years later, Dad’s classic nine-word response is still legendary.
To learn why, you’ll have to wait for the completion of my book with the current working title of “It’s Ok, She’s My Mother.”
Enough about me. I’m curious about you. How are your ducks? Do you have a decade that stands out as a life-changer? Better yet, what is the most extraordinary thing a parent or family member has ever uttered?